Tree Crew Internship

Tree Crew Interns, Moms Bonded by Grief, and Bartram’s Garden staff after planting a new memorial grove together in November 2021. Photograph courtesy of Kromah Studio.

Trees as restorative justice

Apply by September 2, 2022

Are you a high school student in Southwest Philadelphia? Do you want a part-time job focused on improving your community’s environmental, physical, and mental health? Join the Tree Crew!

 

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Important Dates for 2022-2023 Program

  • Application Deadline: September 2, 2022
  • Interviews: September 10, 2022
  • Program Dates: September 15, 2022 through mid-May 2023

Program includes 10 hours of work per week: 1 weekday after school plus Saturday mornings.

Who Is Eligible

Applications for this competitive program are accepted seasonally. In order to be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Live, attend school, or have other personal connections in Southwest Philadelphia, especially in the neighborhoods of Kingsessing, Eastwick, Elmwood Park, or Cobbs Creek. Priority will be given to students who live between 49th Street and 65th Street, between Chester Avenue and the river;
  • Have or be eligible for a work permit;
  • Be a current high school student in good standing; and
  • Be able to attend a consistent weekly schedule (see Important Dates), with up to three excused absences.

Additional requirements:

  • There is no academic requirement to apply; however, participating interns are supported to maintain at least a C average in all their classes.
  • This internship requires male applicants to register for selective service. Not registering will prohibit you from state-based student aid, federal job training, and the ability to work  a federal job.
  • Participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An exception to the COVID vaccine requirement may be provided to individuals for religious or medical reasons.

General Activities

  • Take the PHS Tree Tender Training course and become certified Tree Tenders
  • Explore the intersectionality of trees through subjects like ecology, art, politics, history, and cultural importance
  • Support community planting on PHS tree planting days
  • Work alongside horticulturists to plant within Bartram’s Garden
  • Canvass neighbors within the Southwest Tree Tender Group area (49th Street to 65th Street, Chester Avenue to Lindbergh Boulevard) to get residents involved in tree planting and care
  • Lead seasonal tree tours and community science activities
  • Collaborate with peer interns at the Sankofa Community Farm and Denkyem River Guardians
  • Connect with professionals from varied careers, including arborists, landscape architects, environmentally minded politicians, crafters that work with wood in sustainable ways, and more

Why care for trees?

Trees are an integral part of our city’s infrastructure and should be treated as such. The presence of trees in a community improves environmental health, physical health, and mental health; having trees in a neighborhood also correlates to reduced crime rates and protection against urban blight.

Systemic racism has devastated landscapes, rural and urban alike. Cities have suffered enormous amounts of air, water, and noise pollution, with ensuing negative impacts on health and mental well-being. Philadelphia has a tree canopy coverage of only 20%, with as little as 2.5% in some areas. Last year, the City set a goal of expanding citywide tree coverage to 30%. Planting (and maintaining!) trees is vital to the future health of our communities.

This program was established in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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